Why We're Here

On October 19, 1999, just a few weeks after complaining of headaches, 8-year-old Carly Collard Cottone was diagnosed with medulloblastoma – an aggressive form of brain cancer. Three days later, the tumor was removed. Carly began radiation treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute soon after.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time Carly was touched by cancer. She lost both of her biological parents–Tony and Judie Cottone–to cancer during the first seven years of her life. But Carly faced her own battle with amazing courage and optimism. She had goals and dreams for the future–to go to a Backstreet Boys concert and grow up to become an interior decorator. It seemed that nothing was going to slow down this little girl who had so much living to do.

Throughout her fight, Carly was very appreciative of the support she received from her family members and friends. As a way of showing her appreciation, she decided early on in her treatment that she wanted to help other kids who were also battling cancer and founded what was originally known as Carly’s Club. With the love and support of her adoptive parents, Chuck and Carole Ann Collard, Carly was able to fulfill her dream of helping other families touched by the disease.

Carly lost her hard-fought battle in August of 2002. But her legacy continues today through the Courage of Carly Fund, which will also serve children receiving treatment for blood disorders after the fall opening of the Katherine, Anne & Donna Gioia Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center at Roswell Park.